Restoring Heirloom Furniture

December 9, 2020

Reupholstered and design work by Sewline featured at Redcliff Bakery.In 1990, Robert Burkart branched out on his own and today is celebrating 30 years in business with his family and employees.  

“There was no place to go except start my own business,” says Burkart, owner of Sewline Upholstery. “There was a growing demand for custom upholstery work but hardly anyone doing it.” 

Born and raised in Fox Valley, Saskatchewan, Burkart was first introduced to heavy-duty upholstery after his time working at Speedy Auto Glass repairing automotive interiors.  

Burkart took a specific interest in automotive upholstery and pursued further opportunity to learn custom sewing and design. From there, Burkart took a job at Central Upholstery and learned custom woodwork and sewing for furniture.  

Today, the two men that mentored Burkart at Central Upholstery are employed at Sewline and work alongside Burkart’s wife, Terri, an industrial sewer, and daughter, Jenelle, who handles the customer service and design facet for the business.   

“The two men have retired three times,” chuckles Burkart. “Heavy-duty sewing is a specialized trade and it’s becoming apparent that there is a gap – younger people just don’t have the training.” 

While heavy-duty upholstery work is not typically perceived as a sought after career choice - the demand has not slowed down.  

“The pandemic has presented challenges, but we’re getting calls from all over Alberta and Saskatchewan,” says Burkart. “Instead of spending money on vacations, people are renovating their homes and restoring old pieces of furniture.” 
As the largest industrial, commercial and business upholstery centre in the city, a number of local businesses including Redcliff Bakery, Sterk Woodworks and Design, Travois Ale Works and Lela’s Place, have enlisted the work of Sewline Upholstery to beautify their business 

Sewline Upholstery is located at 674- 16th Street SW in Medicine Hat and can be found online at  



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